It’s A Small Town (Kevin Bonfield)

Alcohol leaks from me. A hangover like breaking rocks in prison. Not that I’d know.

Daylight is punishing me. Every few strides I pause to squint. An attempt to ration my eyes’ exposure. Fingers inside my head are trying to push my eyeballs out. The more I’d showered, the drier my skin had felt. Recollection is mounting me.

It’s a small town.

From its finest butcher, I order rump steak.

Heavy night? His knowing wisdom is misplaced. Thankfully.

It really is a small town.

I’d left the butcher’s brother face down on my worn cord carpet. He had started to stir as I stepped over him and left. He’s exactly where he slumped when he lost the Jim Beam challenge. And that was before the party. The party he never made it to.

The steak lunch will sort him out. The steak from his brother, the best butcher in town. Mushrooms, onion rings, grilled tomatoes, McCain’s Chunky Chips. Recovery fuel.

An apology in a meal. Without him knowing why. Passed out from the Jim Beam before he’d had a chance to sample the pills and powders which he had sold me. The pills and powders I’d then shared with his wife.

I leave the butcher, armed with the steak. The steak I intend to offer his brother. And the butcher’s brother’s wife. Could we eat away the guilt?

The party. Whose house was that? We’d sat cross legged and talked. We’d shared the pills and kept the powders to ourselves. Me and the butcher’s brother’s wife.

We had shuffled closer and closer and admired each other. Wide eyed and obsessing, gnawing at the words, we talked of each other’s beauty. And of all the fucking we weren’t going to do. We weren’t going to be fucking because we were too happy talking.

I woke up hard. Had somebody put this dog blanket over the butcher’s brother’s wife and me? The butcher’s brother’s wife pressed my hand against a heat barely disguised by her jeans. Her other hand wrestled with my belt. I helped. She grabbed at me. Our faces grew close. Our breath was warm, stale, putrid and shared.

Me and the butcher’s brother’s wife fucked. We fucked before the guilt had time to interfere. We were vile and unrefined, ugly and brutal. Last night’s peace forgotten.

I’m cooking steaks bought for the butcher’s brother’s wife as the butcher’s brother peels himself back from the deep sleep. Out of hibernation. The sleep brought on by the Jim Beam. The Jim Beam bought with my money. The money I’d given the butcher’s brother for the pills and powders he dealt. The pills and potions I’d shared with the butcher’s brother’s wife.

It’s a small town.

I place the feast before us.


Kevin Bonfield is a rather private writer, a freshly cut lawn of a poet. Trying to put the ash into flash. A bit of self exploration. Blogs at Words in Unpublishable and Neuro-Logical. Opinions are usually his own.